SPEC 26
Entrepreneurship Essentials: the Mindset, the Method, the Reality Winter 2023

Class Details

Entrepreneurship is the art and science of generating and applying ideas that solve real-world problems. In this course, students will learn the entrepreneurial method and discover where ideas come from and how they are vetted through the customer discovery process. Students will visit numerous Start Ups and meet dozens of entrepreneurs and their co-founders, funders, and employees to learn what happens, what to watch out for, and how to think about entrepreneurial opportunities. The course will begin in WT (3hrs/day, 9 days) with a review of the idea development tools used in today’s startup environment, particularly those pioneered by the Stanford d.School such as the Business Model Canvas and Design Thinking. Particular focus will be on customer discovery and how one determines if an idea is worth pursuing, the “pivots” along the way, and the adaptive mentality needed in a startup. We will also look at the creative process from a personal perspective – how can each student learn to think creatively and what actions can they take. We will compare the creative process in different disciplines to see what is different and what is the same. The second half of the course will take place in San Francisco where we will tap into the strong Bay Area alumni network allowing us to visit start-ups and fast-growing tech companies to compare how they approach their markets. We will look at the influence of company culture, different financing models, and the entrepreneurial ecosystem of the Bay Area. Students will also be given a consulting project from an alumni-run company addressing a current and as yet unsolved problem. Readings: The Lean Start-up by Eric Ries, Thinking Course by Edward deBono’s, Where Good Ideas Come From by Steven Johnson, The Mom Test by Bob Fitzpatrick as well as articles and podcasts.
The Class: Format: travel
Limit: 12
Expected: NA
Class#: 1031
Grading: pass/fail only
Requirements/Evaluation: Short paper and final project or presentation.
Prerequisites: No academic prerequisites
Enrollment Preferences: Students with a demonstrated interest in Entrepreneurship
Unit Notes: Tonio has many years of entrepreneurial and business experience both in the US and internationally. These include the launching of a German language TV channel and inventing a fabric gift wrap product. Bowdoin with an MBA/MA from Wharton/UPenn.
Materials/Lab Fee: $3,100
Attributes: EXPE Experiential Education Courses
TRVL Winter Study Travel Course

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